MONDAY 6 JANUARY 2020 THISWEEKLONDON.COM
PAUL HUNTER: THE STRANGE TALE OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND STAN LAUREL
As you may be aware, the London International Mime Festival kicks off this week - hurrah - and one show appearing as part of it all is a brilliant sounding new production from the very excellent Told By An Idiot.

'The Strange Tale Of Charlie Chaplin And Stan Laurel' is a silent-movie-inspired piece based on true events in the lives of those two stars of the silver screen.

I was very keen to find out more, so put some questions to Told By An Idiot's Paul Hunter, the director of the piece.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Strange Tale Of Charlie Chaplin And Stan Laurel' is on at Wilton's Music Hall from 14-18 Jan. See the venue website here for more information and to book tickets.




ROSALIND BLESSED: THE DELIGHTS OF DOGS AND THE PROBLEMS OF PEOPLE + LULLABIES FOR THE LOST
Over at The Old Red Lion Theatre this week begins an in-rep run of two separate but connected plays created by writer Rosalind Blessed, who also appears in the shows alongside a cast that includes her mother, Hildegard Neil.

I was intrigued to find out some details about the two pieces - 'The Delights Of Dogs And The Problems Of People' and 'Lullabies For The Lost' - as well as to discover a bit more about the woman behind them. So I arranged to put some questions to Rosalind ahead of her New Year performances.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Delights Of Dogs And The Problems Of People' and 'Lullabies For The Lost' play in rep at Old Red Lion Theatre until 1 Feb. See the venue website here for links to both.


THREE STARTING THIS WEEK>>

Antigone | New Diorama Theatre | 7 Jan-1 Feb
Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to your first tips section of the first set of Threes To See of 2020. Gosh, it really does sound like we are living in the future now, doesn't it? So let's get on with our new Twenties life by taking in news of three shows starting a run this week, starting with this staging of an adaptation by Lulu Raczka of a well loved classic. "The dead have been buried. The traitors have been punished. People feel more alive than they have in a long time. They are ready to start again. But Antigone is not". Details here.

Scrounger | Finborough Theatre | 7 Jan-1 Feb

"On the streets of Elephant and Castle, everyone likes to make speculations about Scrounger. She needs help, she must not be aware of the complexities of the world, she is sent from the demons to torture her mum... at least according to her Nigerian Uber driver. Scrounger doesn't care. A successful online personality, she's got more power from her bedroom than anyone on the Southwark estates could dream of. She's educated, she's ballsy, and with a huge network of online allies, Scrounger is a woman who knows how to make change happen. That is, until an airline destroys her wheelchair". The world premiere of this new play by Athena Stevens, inspired by real events. Head this way to find out more.

The Girl With Glitter In Her Eye | The Bunker Theatre | 12-27 Jan (Sundays+Mondays)
An intriguing sounding show from collaboration of female and LGBTQIA+ artists, which features spoken word and live music. "Phil is keeping a secret that she might never overcome. Helen is an artist with opportunities but must battle everyone's expectations. A swan sings... Desperate to stand out amongst a sea of artists, pressured to exploit her own narrative, Helen compromises a close friendship when she finds inspiration in Phil's story. But is it possible to tell someone's story without silencing them along the way?" Details here.


THREE SHORT RUNS>>

Turtles Don't Like Plastic | Tristan Bates Theatre | 11-12 Jan
If you and your little one(s) aged 3+ are feeling glum because Christmas is over and it's back to school, here's a nice under-the-sea and eco themed play that combines physical theatre, puppetry and clowning for you to cheer yourselves up with at the weekend. "Following a mysterious storm, a turtle finds herself trapped on a strange island made of plastic that's forever growing. Can she escape? Can she clean up the Island? And who is the strange monster that lives there? She's determined to find out!" All the info is here.

Tarot | Soho Theatre | 13-18 Jan
Next up, something to cheer the grown-ups, as we head Soho Theatre-wards for a quality comedy treat. It's hardly surprising, given that 'Tarot' is the work of two of our favourite comedy teams (Gein's Family Gift Shop and Goose) that we were a) keen to see this when it was on at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer and that we b) gave it a very glowing review. " I nearly lost it on a number of occasions, whether from one-liners or longer skits with hilariously dark punchlines that you don't see coming", wrote our reviewer. "I've always been skeptical about tarot reading, but the cards have a clear message: you need more 'Tarot' in your life". Take her word for it, and head this way to book your tickets.

Sophie Duker: Venus | Soho Theatre | 13-18 Jan (pictured)
And we are staying at Soho Theatre for even more comedy for your January blues. I had actually planned to tip this particular show when it did the first bit of its Soho run in the autumn, but most of the dates had sold out when I came to do it, so I didn't bother. Luckily for you, it looks like there are a smattering of tickets left for the New Year dates so you might just get one if you act quickly enough. Anyway, you're probably all aware by now of the excellent Sophie Duker., who was nominated for Comedy Award Best Newcomer at the Fringe last summer, and is busy turning up in various locations on your TV screens. So don't wait, click here.


THREE FROM LONDON INTERNATIONAL MIME FESTIVAL>>

This Time | Shoreditch Town Hall | 8-19 Jan (pictured)
And here's something else to cheer you up in January! A whole festival of very high quality shows held together by that mime/physical theatre thing. And we start with this show from the very much acclaimed and award winning Ockham's Razor, which, using aerial equipment and techniques "explores time and transformation and the ups and downs of family relationships, and shows how we are strong in different ways at different times of life", and features a cast ranging in age from 13-60. Head to this page here to find out more.

Only Bones V1.4 | Soho Theatre | 9-25 Jan
And we're back at the Soho Theatre for another Mime Festival offering, this time a word premiere from the very very brilliant Trygve Wakenshaw, who takes on the challenge set by fellow New Zealander, Thomas Monckton, creator of the original 'Only Bones', to "Make a show with No story, No language, No set, No props, and only ONE light". It promises to be a "hilarious new minimalist extravaganza", which "skewers the rule makers, the enforcers, the abiders, and screams "wake up sheeple!" as it politely waits for the traffic lights to change". Info here.

3D | Jackson's Lane | 10-12 Jan
This looks really interesting, and a must for all the circus lovers out there. Acrobat and wire walker Jonathan Guichard performs using a specially created new piece of circus equipment, the 3D, which is a bit like a giant archer's longbow, featuring a curved wooden board and a metallic 'string', and is able to roll and pivot in three dimensions. It sounds like the performer can do some pretty spectacular things with it, in what's described in the blurb as " a thrilling piece of visual theatre which plays with space and form, physical virtuosity and sound". Find out more about the show, and book your tickets on the venue website here.
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